Excerpt: Cadillac, Oklahoma by Louise Farmer Smith

About the Book:


When you step off the train in Cadillac, Oklahoma, you’ll wade through currents of hilarity and romance where the sheriff is in love with the wife of a prominent lawyer, and the banker’s widow and a Las Vegas sex worker team up to beautify Cadillac. Not until a young female reporter cracks open the self-satisfied surface of the town is the folly, anger, and pain revealed. The resentments of tree-huggers, store-owners, and the town fathers ignite over a proposal to create a New England-style town green in this water-starved former Dust Bowl town.
Citizens who don’t care about town politics, deal with domestic abuse, religious rivalry and stale marriages. The sheriff, Jake Hale, seeks help from a retired lawyer, Sloane Willard, in an effort to save the life of a teenage girl accused of murdering the father who raped her. The town’s guiding forces of football, religion, and guns unite as a praying mass of church-goers overwhelm Jake’s attempt to manage an out-of-control hostage situation at Cadillac’s Youth Detention Center. Before you get back on the train, you will have grown to love these people and their thirst for love, beauty, water and justice.

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Featured in Dec/Jan 2017 Issue: 2016 Best Indie Book Competition Winners



Sally arrived in our town the summer I turned seventeen, and that three-month stretch of heat burned up what was left of my childhood. She had that kind of wrecked voice that made her sound like a pack-a-day smoker, a woman with a story to tell in what my granddad Sloane Benjamin Willard, who’d been to France in WWI, called a whiskey voice. She looked to me like she might be as old as twenty-five, the perfect older woman to train me for what I hoped would be a lifetime of pleasing women. . . .

I was surprised when Mother told me Sally had taken a job as the Methodist church secretary, and I let myself imagine that this job—keeping attendance records, paying utility bills, and writing notes to shut-ins—was a cover, a kind of recompense for the former, racy life her husky voice suggested. Sometimes I’d feel ashamed of this fantasy when I’d see her in town, modestly dressed and minding her own business. But she was one of the few good-looking single women in Cadillac, and I finally convinced myself that seeing as how I was from a good Baptist family, it would be a step in the right direction for her to get to know me. I devised a plan. . . .

That night I overheard my aunt tell my mother that Sally had been married very briefly to what she described as a “clean-cut young man from a good family.” The two women went on to speculate about what went wrong, and I pretended to shine my shoes. . . .

My whole body heated up at the idea of Sally having been married, and my mind pressed her against the wall of the church office. “I’ll just finish these on the back porch,” I told the women as I clutched my shoes in front of my zipper. 

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